homepage logo

Sanibel School students to put on classic production

By Staff | Jun 1, 2016

Johnny Jensen, the Beast, and Arabella Lilleslatten, Belle, perform their roles during rehearsal two days before opening night. MEGHAN McCOY

The Sanibel School will continue its “Beauty and the Beast Jr.” production this Thursday and Friday featuring 34 sixth, seventh and eighth grade students for their final production of the year.

The performance will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 2, and Friday, June 3. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students.

The Disney classic shares the story of Belle, a young girl, and her hideous captor, the Beast who is a prince under a spell. The Beast has to learn to love to break the spell before time runs out. Throughout the production, the castle’s enchanted staff is introduced to the audience while a friendship and love between Belle and the Beast forms.

The cast has participated in class rehearsals, after school rehearsals and Saturday morning rehearsals to prepare for the musical that is guaranteed to captivate audience members of all ages with beautiful costumes and incredible singing voices.

“We have put so much of ourselves into this. Our time and effort. It would be so amazing for people to come,” eighth grade student Samantha Strickland said. “Please come and see the show.”

The “Beauty and the Beast Jr.” cast and their teachers. MEGHAN McCOY

Seventh grader Arabella Lilleslatten said they began rehearsals in the middle of the year in order to perfect their roles.

Strickland said during the audition process, they received a week to prepare for their role. She said their teachers did not make the process scary at all.

Lilleslatten and Strickland were casted as Belle for the performance.

“Belle is really fun to play because she’s such a sweet and kind character,” Lilleslatten said. “It’s a good family play and has a good message.”

Strickland said she enjoys Belle’s adventurous side, which does not include many personal limitations. She said the experience has been a lot of fun, especially since she grew up watching “Beauty and the Beast” and is now playing one of the leading roles.

The Sanibel School students spent time rehearsing their lines after school a few days before opening night of “Beauty and the Beast Jr.” MEGHAN McCOY

“It’s fun being in the production,” Strickland said.

With the play including a good deal of songs and lines, Lilleslatten’s favorite part is the change of costumes, as well as singing the opening song “Belle.”

Strickland said her favorite song to sing in “Beauty and the Beast Jr.” is “Something’s There” because it’s sweet and cute.

Jeb Politte, 7th grader, and Johnny Jensen, 6th grader, were casted for the duo role of Gaston and the Beast.

“I enjoy the opportunity to play two characters,” Jensen said, who have two different personalities. “I like Gaston’s attitude more than the Beast.”

Arabella Lilleslatten rehearses one of the many songs she sings as Belle in “Beauty and the Beast Jr.” MEGHAN McCOY

Jensen said he really enjoys singing because he has the chance to showcase his voice and his different pitches.

Politte also enjoys playing the part of Gaston because he has more singing roles.

“I like singing,” he said.

The “Mob Song” is Politte’s favorite song because it has a nice beat, perfect background music and has a lot of action.

“We put tons of hard work into this and it’s an amazing play to see,” Jensen said during a brief rehearsal break two days before opening night Thursday, May 26. “I hope people come and see the play.”

Politte agreed that “Beauty and the Beast Jr.” is going to be a great play and encourages the islanders to come out and see the production.

Follow Meghan @IslanderMeghan on Twitter.